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Why did you switch the St. Petersburg Distance Classic to be run virtually?
When we received approval in late summer to stage the 3rd Annual St. Petersburg Distance Classic on January 31, the COVID-19 virus case count was soaring. We determined we would only open registration if we felt comfortable that the virus would be under control on race day. We also decided to keep our options open until as late as possible, while we monitored the situation. Unfortunately, as you surely know, case counts nationwide, including Florida, are reaching all-time highs despite a vaccine being approved. We know some other race directors are staging races around the country, but please know that every race director has circumstances unique to their venue and other restrictions. As such, we simply do not feel it would be prudent to bring together enough athletes to stage the kind of race we like to produce, including start and finish line festivities.
Here is a broad statement about our St. Petersburg "Social" Distance Classic, which will answer many of your questions before you even ask them:
This is YOUR Virtual Run - you set your goal, you complete your routes, on your schedule, and on your pace. It is based entirely on the honor system, meaning you are NOT required to send us photos or any other records of your tracking devices. At the end of the day, it is up to each athlete to earn their bragging rights and the pride to wear their finisher medal, take a selfie, and share it with their friends.
Do I need to run the entire distance at the same time?
We encourage athletes to complete the distance in one outing. However, as this is a virtual run created to provide some extra motivation, athletes can complete their mileage in one day or in multiple days. That way, there is more appeal for a larger group of athletes. Some experienced athletes will be comfortable running the entire distance in one effort. For others, the total mileage might be a weekly goal, and for some people just starting out, or coming off an injury, 1 mile per day is a laudable goal. Earning these finisher medals is truly up to each individual.
How do I track my distance?
Tracking your distance is up to you. Use your favorite fitness device, your car, or on-line aps such as www.MapMyRun. As long as you’re on your own two feet – running, walking, on a treadmill, on a trail or track, walking your dog – all miles are good miles.
Do I need a GPS tracker (Garmin, Strava, etc.) to participate?
Fitness devices will make your tracking easier and generally more precise, but they are not necessary for our purposes since the miles you enter on this site are on the honor system.
Can I walk?
Yes, absolutely, miles are miles. This is a walker-friendly event. We encourage participants of all ages and abilities.
Can I ride my bicycle and count them as miles?
No, sorry, if it includes wheels, it doesn’t count, unless you are a wheelchair athlete planning to complete the entire distance in your wheelchair.
Can I “double-dip” and use mileage from another race during my registered time-span?
Yes, for our purposes, that counts, but ultimately, it is completely up to you!
How do I report my miles?
You can enter your miles and time at this website, using the "Results" tab at the top of this page. You can upload a GPX, FIT, or TCX file. Or post your mileage manually.
Are all the medals the same?
You will earn your choice of "vintage" finisher medals from either of the first two years from our St. Petersburg Distance Classic. Each medal was designed to feature sunshine and water in an artistic representation, which showcase what St. Petersburg is all about.
Are you offering performance awards for these virtual races?
Yes, Top 20 Athletes in each event will also earn Vintage Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals (or for some athletes, a second medal).
Why are you offering awards from previous years?
Medals are usually ordered at least 3-4 months prior to race day for overseas production and international shipping. That deadline was in later September and there was too much uncertainty if our race would be held. Instead of simply canceling the St. Petersburg Distance Classic as COVID-19 cases were rising in Florida, we kept our options open by deciding we would offer finisher medals from our first two years (2019 and 2020), whether the race was staged live or virtually. We believed that athletes would understand the situation and since registration had not yet opened, could make an informed decision of whether to register or not.
Are all the shirts the same?
Yes, all commemorative shirts will be printed upon demand, using the same artwork, to commemorate the 2021 St. Petersburg "Social" Distance Classic.
Are the bibs the same for each event?
Kinda - the design is the same, but modified for each individual event.
When will I receive my virtual package?
It really depends on when you register, as shirts will be printed as athletes register. We anticipate being able to send out our first packages on Saturday, January 23, and after that, on each Tuesday and Saturday until all packages are shipped.
We are accepting donations for our non-profit Running Starfish Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization recognized by the IRS on August 16, 2019. Accordingly, “Donors can deduct contributions they make to you under IRC Section 170.”
Our plan is to distribute these donations during these challenging times to support those who support our races. The following lost irreplaceable income with the cancelation of our spring races at the last minute:
• Micro-grants, no greater than $500 each, directly to our loyal, freelance, contracted race crew members who work hard to make our races happen
• Donations to several small local and loyal non-profits who provide volunteers to our races
Should donations exceed our expectations, we reserve the right to add new non-profit organizations for distribution of funds.
On behalf of those individuals and non-profits we seek to support, THANK YOU!